Hello friends. It has been a long time. We are not long back from taking a holiday – the first long break in years. And it was so lovely to be away with the family, enjoying the beach, the new routines that holidays inevitably bring. But I am tired. Sun kissed. Windswept and sandy. Do you ever come home not as refreshed as you had hoped? Having read only some of the books in your holiday bag and feeling like the time just disappeared before you could get into the good habits you had planned for the New Year?
Well as we prepare for all of the small people to go back to school I am trying to focus on doing one day at a time. It is going to be an exciting year and I have so much to tell you. How was your summer holiday?
How often do you stop and make a real pot of tea and take time to let it brew? To savour the process as much as the drinking of tea. I love this reflection on joy and rest by my friend Belinda, a Mama on the Hill.
For me, the act of making a pot of tea forces me to slow down. When the children are awake, it gives us the opportunity to sit down together and have a ‘tea party’. To connect, share stories, to just be with one another. When the children are asleep, it gives me the opportunity to sit and rest, to give my mind space to think, to dream, to pray. Somehow we feel like as mums we need permission to rest…well a pot of tea gives me permission to rest.
|The Siesta – Vincent Van Gogh
Epiphany. Rest. I need more rest.
Not just sleep, the long, uninterrupted time at night.
But I need to make time during the day to rest, recharge, review and be restored. It may be a power nap but time in a chair with a cup of tea and something to read quietly for 20 minutes may be just as effective. Last week I had a day when kept myself busy, doing chores and a range of odd jobs. It felt so good to tick off some of those tasks on my to do list ( the one in my head). But by the end of the day as dinner and bath time arrived I was exhausted. A grumpy, impatient Mummy Me stomped up and down stairs, spoke harshly and sighed lots. I was bad company for my man and my kids. I went to me room. To rest. To repent. To seek guidance and take the time so that I could see that without regular rest, I was destined to be anything but the woman He wants me to be.
So this week I am working of editing the busyness during the day. I need to build in times of quiet, even if it is only 5 minutes. And this is not rest at the computer or in the shower. But a time to sit down, slow down and recharge. Rest will enable me to be more productive, more patient and gracious in the long term. A better me.
Sabbatical or a sabbatical (from Latin sabbaticus, from Greek sabbatikos, from Hebrew shabbat, i.e., Sabbath, literally a “ceasing”) is a rest from work, or a hiatus, often lasting from two months to a year. The concept of sabbatical has a source in shmita, described several places in the Bible (Leviticus 25, for example, where there is a commandment to desist from working the fields in the seventh year). In the strict sense, therefore, a sabbatical lasts a year. (Reference)
I have never taken a formal sabbatical from paid work. My work history is marked with time out to have babies (all 5 of them), taking on projects and consultancy work so that I have continued to dabble in work and family life, grabbing hold of some semblance of normality. So at the end of last year, the onset of Christmas and a long Summer break seemed like the perfect time to take a blogging sabbatical. A rest from the work of blogging, a hiatus. Well my hiatus has lasted 5 months. Honestly, I have been on the cusp of writing here again for sometime. But I want to share with you what I have learnt while taking a break from “working the fields”. I would love to know whether you have ever taken a sabbatical?
I am yearning for rest today. Not a Nanna nap or even a power nap, but a time of quiet, relaxation and restoration. So it was no surprise when I stumbled across Tyler David talking about Sabbath Rest. I don’t think much about the Sabbath, as it would seem outmoded in our fast and crazy Western world. I never stop really – there is always the phone, the internet, Facebook or a small child demanding my attention. We were created to work, and work excellently. But we were also intended to rest, to stop, to be quiet and receive a fill with things that reenergise us.
There are many ways of feeling full and not drained – a good coffee, time with friends, exercise, reading perhaps. But Tyler David argues that the God who made us also intended us to find our real fulfilment in Him. Sabbath rest is “like a banquet … full of gladness and tranquility.” Rather than emptying and depleting the soul, Sabbath rest nourishes and fulfills and it enables us to put things in proper perspective. We are made and meant for sabbath rest; for the banquet that nourishes, fulfills and restores relationship. We are not made to just work and work and hopefully maybe catch a day off here and there. So if you need a rest today, or want to think more about resting and taking a Sabbath, you will find this talk from Austin Stone a real blessing.
“Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a sabbath to the LORD your God. On it you shall not do any work, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your male or female servant, nor your animals, nor any foreigner residing in your towns. For in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day. Therefore the LORD blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.
Exodus 20: 8-11